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Ray Martin Saksa

Ray Martin Saksa, age 91, of Cokato, died Saturday, April 22, 2006 at the Cokato Manor.

He was born April 17, 1915 on the Saksa farm in Albion Township, to John and Emma (Josephson) Saksa, the seventh of 13 children.

He attended Gunnary Country School through the eighth grade. He also attended the Lutheran Bible Institute.

Ray was married to Agnes Sylvia Leinonen July 16, 1938. They started out their married life on a small farm in Albion Township, before moving to the family farm in 1941, where Roy became a dairy farmer.

In 1981, they built and moved to a home on Granite Lake; and in 2002, they moved to Cokato.

Ray was very active in the local church and the Gideon International organization, where he ministered to inmates at the local county jail and spoke often in various area churches.

After retirement, Ray spent many hours in his woodworking shop, and was an avid gardener. He enjoyed sharing many products of his labors with others. He also enjoyed being involved in local horseshoe teams.

He and Agnes spent 21 winters in Arizona.

Ray is survived by his wife, Agnes; children, Phillip (Ruth Ann) Saksa of Detroit, Mich., Joanne (Gary) Jones of Cokato, Carol (Lee) Escobedo of Tucson, Ariz., Marie (Harley) Wilson of South Haven, and Jonathan (Janet) Saksa of Dassel; 19 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; a brother, George (Marilyn) Saksa of Duluth; and sisters Florence (Jack) Miller of Seattle, Wash., and Beatrice Raisanen of Brighton, Mich.

He was precedcd in death by his parents; an infant daughter; nine siblings; a granddaughter-in-law; and two infant great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Wednesday, April 26 at 10:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Cokato with the Revs. Al Jones and Philip Geoffrion. Music was provided by Bonnie Jones, Ned Wilson, Nicole Wilson, Rod and Marilyn Twitchell, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Interment was in Riverside Cemetery.

Casket bearers were Ray’s grandsons: Allen Jones, Dale Jones, Lonnie Jones, Charles Jones, Nate Wilson, Ned Wilson, Duwayne Escobedo, Trevor Saksa, Trent Saksa, Todd Saksa, and Brian Saksa.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.

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